5 Simple Ways to Increase YourIntelligenceYour brain needs exercise just like a muscle. If you use it often and in the right ways, youwill become a more skilled thinker and increase your ability to focus. But if you neveruse your brain, or abuse it with harmful chemicals, your ability to think and learn willdeteriorate.Here are 5 simple ways anyone can squeeze a bit more productivity out of the old graymatter.1. Minimize Television Watching – This is a hard sell. People love vegetating in frontof the television, myself included more often than I’d like. The problem is watchingtelevision doesn’t use your mental capacity OR allow it to recharge. It’s like having theenergy sapped out of a muscle without the health benefits of exercise.Don’t you feel drained after a couple hours of TV? Your eyes are sore and tired frombeing focused on the light box for so long. You don’t even have the energy to read abook.When you feel like relaxing, try reading a book instead. If you’re too tired, listen to somemusic. When you’re with your friends or family, leave the tube off and have aconversation. All of these things use your mind more than television and allow you torelax.2. Exercise – I used to think that I’d learn more by not exercising and using the time toread a book instead. But I realized that time spent exercising always leads to greaterlearning because it improves productivity during the time afterwards. Using your bodyclears your head and creates a wave of energy. Afterwards, you feel invigorated and canconcentrate more easily.3. Read Challenging Books – Many people like to read popular suspense fiction, butgenerally these books aren’t mentally stimulating. If you want to improve your thinkingand writing ability you should read books that make you focus. Reading a classic novelcan change your view of the world and will make you think in more precise, elegantEnglish. Don’t be afraid to look up a word if you don’t know it, and don’t be afraid ofdense passages. Take your time, re-read when necessary, and you’ll soon growaccustomed to the author’s style.Once you get used to reading challenging books, I think you’ll find that you aren’ttempted to go back to page-turners. The challenge of learning new ideas is far moreexciting than any tacky suspense-thriller.
4. Early to Bed, Early to Rise – Nothing makes it harder to concentrate than sleepdeprivation. You’ll be most rejuvenated if you go to bed early and don’t sleep more than8 hours. If you stay up late and compensate by sleeping late, you’ll wake up lethargic andhave trouble focusing. In my experience the early morning hours are the most tranquiland productive. Waking up early gives you more productive hours and maximizes yourmental acuity all day.If you have the opportunity, take 10-20 minute naps when you are hit with a wave ofdrowsiness. Anything longer will make you lethargic, but a short nap will refresh you.5. Take Time to Reflect – Often our lives get so hectic that we become overwhelmedwithout even realizing it. It becomes difficult to concentrate because nagging thoughtskeep interrupting. Spending some time alone in reflection gives you a chance organizeyour thoughts and prioritize your responsibilities. Afterwards, you’ll have a betterunderstanding of what’s important and what isn’t. The unimportant stuff won’t botheryou anymore and your mind will feel less encumbered.I’m not saying you need to sit on the floor cross-legged and chant ‘ommm’. Anythingthat allows a bit of prolonged solitude will do. One of my personal favorites is taking asolitary walk. Someone famous said, “All the best ideas occur while walking.” I think hewas on to something. Experiment to find the activity that works best for you.Conclusion – I hope you aren’t disappointed that none of the techniques I’ve proposedare revolutionary. But simple, unexciting answers are often the most valid. The challengeis having the will to adhere to them. If you succeed in following these 5 tips, you’ll berewarded with increased mental acuity and retention of knowledge.